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ROINE STOLT

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Roine Stolt biography
Roine STOLT (aka Dexter Frank Jr., Don Azzaro) - Born September 5, 1956 (Uppsala, Sweden)

A major figure in Sweden's rock history, guitarist/singer/composer Roine STOLT led two of his country's most successful progressive rock bands: KAIPA in the 1970s and THE FLOWER KINGS in the 1990s onward. His distinctive guitar style combined David GILMOUR's debonair mid-tempo, Steve HOWE's sharp edges, and Frank ZAPPA's virtuosity. His vision of a positive world governed by beauty (akin to Yes's singer Jon ANDERSON) gave his music an aura that appealed to many progressive rock fans.

Roine STOLT started playing bass in the late '60s in local rock cover bands. He quickly discovered the burgeoning British progressive rock scene and had switched to electric guitar by the summer of 1974 when, at age 17, he became the lead guitarist of the professional prog rock band KAIPA. This band recorded three albums for the Decca label (reissued on CD by Musea) and is still considered to be the most important Scandinavian prog act of the '70s.

STOLT left KAIPA in 1979 to form his own group, FANTASIA, who recorded two albums and disbanded in 1983 after a second, more commercially oriented LP for Warner. STOLT then started to work as a session musician and record producer, drifting away from symphonic rock esthetics, something very obvious on his Hall and Oates-like 1985 solo album, "Behind the Walls" (his first performance as a lead singer) and "The Lonely Heartbeat", released in 1989 under the name STOLT.

Witnessing the progressive rock revival of the 1990s, a movement that partly originated from Sweden with bands like LANDBERK and ANGLAGARD, Roine STOLT was quick to come back to his ancient love. Recruiting ex-Jonas Hellborg drummer Jaime Salazar and ex-SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA percussionist Hasse Bruniusson, he released The FLOWER KINGS in August 1994. Stimulated by the warm response, he enlisted brother Michael Stolt (bass, vocals) and longtime friend Tomas BODIN (keyboards) and formed the FLOWER KINGS, which would remain his principal musical project for years to come.

At the helm of the FLOWER KINGS, STOLT experienced international fame as the band became, with U.S.A.'s SPOCK'S BEARD, the best-selling 1990s prog rock act. Albums were released at an incredible rate: six studio albums (including two two-CD sets) in the band's first six years of ...
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ROINE STOLT discography


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ROINE STOLT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.18 | 33 ratings
Fantasia
1979
2.67 | 6 ratings
Fantasia
1982
2.03 | 22 ratings
Behind The Walls
1985
2.07 | 21 ratings
The Lonely Heartbeat
1989
4.10 | 292 ratings
The Flower King
1994
3.94 | 144 ratings
Hydrophonia
1998
3.56 | 136 ratings
Wall Street Voodoo
2005
3.72 | 79 ratings
The Flower King: Manifesto Of An Alchemist
2018

ROINE STOLT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ROINE STOLT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ROINE STOLT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ROINE STOLT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Din Cigarrett
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Burning Bridges
1987
3.00 | 1 ratings
Big Daddy
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Stranger (In My Own House)
1988
3.00 | 1 ratings
Utopia
1990

ROINE STOLT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Big Daddy by STOLT, ROINE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1988
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Big Daddy
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

— First review of this album —
3 stars One is a borderline synth pop song and the other is a borderline jazz piece. This single is back and forth, it's hard to keep track of where we are going with this listen. Thankfully both of these songs are on an easier to understand studio album titled 'The Lonely Heartbeat'. I can see what Roine was trying to do here but nothing really adds up, Big Daddy isn't a song I'm too fond of, it has the feel of a typical synth pop beat from the 80s that I'm not crazy about on here. White Men of NYC is a confusing track, it's slow and jazzy and just... kind of works? I can't understand this too much either, I do enjoy this track but it's very confusing. So, one song, I'm not a fan of, and the second one, I am. This is the most confusing single I've listened to. I'm not sure whether it's good or bad, but its definitely not great, or a masterpiece.
 Utopia by STOLT, ROINE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1990
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Utopia
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

— First review of this album —
3 stars Utopia is a great EP by Roine Stolt of 'The Flower King's'. Both tracks have Roine's unmistakable voice, guitar playing, and writing style. Thankfully we are saved by Tomas Bodin's keyboard playing, his solos are great and so are Roine's. The writing style is kind of like Yes, Genesis, and some soft Rock bands thrown in the mix (such as; Toto, Tears For Fears, etc.). This is a very good EP, and it does show where Roine Stolt was going to end up. The feel and structure of both songs are nice, but are both songs incredible? No, they are good but nothing special. Overall the EP might have good songwriting and a very prog nature, but it isn't very well recorded. It could've been slightly better recorded even for the time it was released, but Roine wasn't under InsideOut or any real record label to help push this along. Either way, this is a good EP but its nothing to get too excited about.
 Hydrophonia by STOLT, ROINE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.94 | 144 ratings

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Hydrophonia
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by MalenaRoss

5 stars Fantastic landscapes of Scandinavia and majestic mascarade of Edvard Grieg`s personages.. No politics & crimes, no rights and wrongs only true fairy watercolors of sound. Its different from the Flower King and it`s so great on it`s own - lovely tembres, mellow "90s Prog" era sound. I do enjoy sound of soprano sax here as well. Well crafted melodies. I can see clearly Roine sending us his message from the wooden cottage that he calls "Cosmic Lodge", playing his old guitar near the fjord. I see the rare boat passing by... and than all of a sudden strange creatures comes to life... My favs are first 4 tracks! less interesting Seahorse.. but anyway it can`t spoil the whole atmosphere of the good instrumental album. 5 starts!
 The Flower King: Manifesto Of An Alchemist by STOLT, ROINE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.72 | 79 ratings

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The Flower King: Manifesto Of An Alchemist
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Not quite a continuation of the Flower Kings, nor a totally new project, but probably a pimped out version of his solo work, charismatic Swedish multi-instrumentalist Roine Stolt returns with 2018's `Manifesto of an Alchemist'! The ex-Kaipa, Kaipa da Capo and The Sea Within composer here delivers an eclectic and diverse prog-rock crossover work that doesn't just simply fall back on the symphonic-prog approach perhaps expected of the artist, instead he incorporates plenty of blues, pop smarts and classic rock song-writing that highlights his social, political and spiritual observations, and it also boasts musical contributions from superior musicians such as bassist Jonas Reingold, drummer Marco Minnemann and others, as well as singers Nad Sylvan and Hasse Froberg.

After `Rainsong's dreamy vocal fragment introduction, `Lost America' opens properly with chugging riffing, Max Lorentz' sparkling electric piano and trickles of Hammond organ, Jonas' sweetly murmuring bass and Roine's charmingly accented raspy croon, and while much of the tune isn't particularly memorable, there's also plenty of tasty bluesy guitar playing from Stolt and the second half smoulders in all sorts of directions. The eerie `Ze Pawns' holds drowsy and weeping guitar strains over icy Mellotron slivers and desperate bursts of dramatic tension, Roine offering a melancholic vocal and sombrely cryptic lyric, and the twelve-minute `High Road' will remind many of the Flower Kings with its delirious, joyful, whimsical and kaleidoscopic approach. Hasse Froberg even pops up to sing alongside Stolt on the piece, and there's no shortage of unpredictable psychedelic interludes, dreamy harmonies and colourful soloing (and its damn cool to hear Roine play some big fat Rickenbacker bass on this one!).

Finally, `Rio Grande' is the first of three purely instrumental pieces that really take the disc even higher, and it initially burns with a jazz-fusion-like fire by way of rumbling drumming, splintering electric piano runs and strangled guitar, but there's an exquisite Mellotron-lifted ethereal passage in the middle that drifts into unhurried heavens of bliss with joyous Moog spins and victorious guitar reaches. The poppier `Next To A Hurricane' holds traces of Roine's idol Prince in its chorus and guitar soloing, and instrumental `The Alchemist' grooves with jazzy vibes and exotic sax soloing from guest Rob Townsend (and the piece probably wouldn't have sounded out of place on the Flower Kings' fusion-heavy `Unfold the Future'). The divine and placid ballad `Baby Angels' could almost pass for a Beach Boys `Sunflower'-era outtake, and `Six Thirty Wake-Up' is a final instrumental that emerges gently with tranquil flute, shimmering organ and embracing guitar comforts. The politically- charged ten minute `The Spell Of Money' closes the disc, and it bristles with an emotional heaviness and lurking menace, constantly reprising a frantic chorus and closing on grandiose guitar wailing full of defiance.

Roine's thoughts in the accompanying booklet of `Manifesto...' state how he and the other players were happy to keep less than perfect performances and unfished instrumental ideas from the recording sessions because they still captured plenty of spontaneity, and that mentality shines throughout the entire sixty-nine minute CD/LP. A disc that grafts a vintage sensibility to a firmly modern sound, Stolt and his friends have delivered a surprisingly fresh, gorgeously melodic and infectiously uplifting work with `Manifesto of an Alchemist', and it subtly proves to be one of the prog highlights of the year - long live the king/s!

Four stars.

 The Flower King by STOLT, ROINE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.10 | 292 ratings

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The Flower King
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Very close to 5 Stars!

A very musical and passionate statement. This is the album that started it all for the Flower Kings (Stolt formed his touring band for this album using the players on it, his brother on bass, and Thomas Bodin on Keyboards, and christened them the Flower Kings for the tour, thus beginning a great musical legacy). Deciding it was time to record music he truly liked, and to communicate some of the ideas felt strongly about, Stolt wrote and produced this album on his own. It is always better when the artist has complete control over the music, and it really works here. This is a very musical album. While the strongest is the long epic "Humanizzimo" and some of the tunes in the middle ("Magic Circus of Zeb", "Pilgrims Inn", "Sounds of Violence") all the songs here are above par and they flow together very well. Probably the weakest is the title track, almost bordering on cheesy, but it is saved by the arrangement (while "Close Your Eyes" also borders on cheesy - this is the song I skip over). There are some excellent guitar solos on this album. Roine Stolt is a fantastic guitar player, and does not shy away from composing his songs around some great guitar work. He also shows himself to be an excellent multi-instrumentalist - he plays all the keys and bass on the album, leaving only the drums/percussion and saxes, and back-up vocals, to his guests. The return to the opening theme at the end ("Scanning the Greenhouse") ties everything together nicely and provides an exceptional and emotional closer to the album. Overall, a very satisfying musical experience. I give this 8.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just 0.1 shy of 5 stars (and so, 4 PA stars).

 Hydrophonia by STOLT, ROINE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.94 | 144 ratings

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Hydrophonia
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Back in the mid to late Nineties and the early days of Swedish retro symphonic proggers The Flower Kings, there was none of the unofficial hiatuses and several year breaks in between releases that befall the band now! Founding member and ex-Kaipa guitarist Roine Stolt was a flurry of activity, which included putting out this hugely charming sixth solo work in 1998, the frequently aquatic themed `Hydrophonia'. An all instrumental affair, the album is impossibly optimistic, colourfully playful and, most of all, deeply romantic symphonic prog, unsurprisingly frequently driven by Mr Stolt's grand guitar runs (although he does double on keyboards, percussion and bass here too). Stolt is ably backed by early Flower Kings drummer Jaime Salazar and frequent collaborator Ulf Wallander, who's wind instruments of flute and sax were great standouts of the early FK albums, and together here they create a grand aural canvass of colour and taste.

Looking at some of the highlights, `Cosmic Lodge' sets a template for much of the disc with Roine delivering slow-burn grandiose soloing and triumphant fanfares full of regal majesty, slinking bass, magical mellotron bursts and booming church organ. `Shipbuilding' is whimsical and dreamy, there's folky sophistication by way of drowsy weeping guitar throughout `Little Cottage by the Sea', and `Wreck of HMS Nemesis' is full of majestic fanfares with plenty of striking saxophone themes, big grumbling bass runs, dramatic Mellotron blasts and alternating acoustic and electric guitar passages. `Bizarre Seahorse Sex Attack' (Coolest. Title. EVER!) bristles with psychedelic quirky playfulness (and has a lovely ambient outro too), and `Oceanna Baby Dolphin' is a lullaby-like reflective and gentle symphonic theme.

`Nucleur Nemo' attacks with brooding King Crimson-esque clanging jagged noise and maddening ascending guitar bite with gloomy dark jazz, and the title track offers classic-era Genesis reaching Steve Hackett-like guitar strains. Parts of `Lobsterland Groove' reveal a jazz/fusion diversion that could have easily come from any of the classic spiritual era Santana band releases of `Caravanserai', `Welcome' and `Borboletta' (just listen for that glistening electric piano), and Stolt even delivers some fiery guitar in the easily recognisable style of Carlos in the final minutes. `Seafood Kitchen Thing' is a spirited, up-tempo and frequently cheerful reprise of themes from throughout the album to end on, meaning the listener leaves in a great mood with a big smile on their face!

It might perhaps be a little repetitive and samey in just a few spots, and it isn't nearly as complex and varied as many of the Flower Kings album would eventually become, but if you enjoy proudly symphonic and retro-styled instrumental progressive rock, then this is the disc for you. `Hydrophonia' skilfully marries Roine's vintage prog influences with his epic guitar flights of fancy, and it's sure to be welcomed fondly by fans of both Mr Stolt himself and the early albums by the Flower Kings.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

 Hydrophonia by STOLT, ROINE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.94 | 144 ratings

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Hydrophonia
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Hydrophonia" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedith progressive rock artists Roine Stolt. The album was released through InsideOut Music in 1998. At this point in time Roine Stolt experienced great success with his main act The Flower Kings, but he had been an active musician since the mid-70s. First as a member of progressive Swedish rock act Kaipa and in the 80s as a solo artist. However it wasnīt until he released his 4th full-length studio album "The Flower King (1994)", that things really began to happen.

"Hydrophonia" is not a continuation of the progressive rock sound on "The Flower King (1994)", which is a sound Roine Stolt further cultivated with The Flower Kings. "Hydrophonia" is still a progressive rock album, but itīs fully instrumental and incorporate stylistic elements from as different genres as new age, jazz/rock, progressive rock, folk and medieval music. There is a reoccuring marine theme in songtitles like "Shipbuilding", "Bizarre Seahorse Sex Attack" and "Lobsterland Groove", but other than that the music doesnīt necessarily makes me think of oceans, boats and whales.

Roine Stolt takes care of guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion on the album. He has recruited Jaime Salazar (drums, percussion) and Ulf Wallander (soprano saxophone) to help him out in the few areas where his multi-instrumental skills arenīt sufficient. The musicianship is not surprisingly on a very high level. The sound production which is credited to Roine Stoltīs pseudonym Don Azzaro, is professional, pleasent and organic and generally sounds like the sound productions on contemporary Flower Kings albums.

Although there are some energetic moments and even a couple of atonal solos and themes on the album, "Hydrophonia" is generally a pretty laidback, sweet and uplifting listen. It doesnīt always possess a lot of depth and quite a few of the tracks very quickly become pleasant background listening (or if Iīm a bit more critical: "high level muzak") and at 67:42 minutes I think "Hydrophonia" does drag on for too long. If Roine Stolt had cut the fat (read: the most new age/muzak sounding parts) and released a 40 minutes long album instead and I think "Hydrophonia" would have been a better and more enjoyable listen. Still itīs a relatively enjoyable listen and certainly a professional sounding release and a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

 Hydrophonia by STOLT, ROINE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.94 | 144 ratings

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Hydrophonia
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Roine Stolt is without doubt one of the most important figures in progressive rock movement in Sweden in the '70s soon becoming one of Europe leaders with The Flower KIngs. Composer, guitarist and singer Roine Stolt has his own style of playing the guitar since he was part in legendary Kaipa. With beautiful smooth blistering guitar chops remind me of Hackett combined with virtuosic escapades of Howe, Stolt is one of the most influencial musician in last decades in prog for sure. After living Kaipa in late 1979, he formed Fantasia with 2 albums in their pockets and then disbanded, Stolt optaing for a solo career. But, with the revival in the '90 of prog music and specially Sweden who was and is one of the leaders in this bussines, and because of this boom Stolt formed The Flower Kings and since early 90s this band was and is an instant succes world wide. Beside succesful career with TFK and colaborations with super group Transatlantic, his solo career was aswell marked with a new studio album named Hydrophonia, released in 1999. This album is instrumental with many memorable parts, for example the opening track Cosmic Lodge is absolutly killer, some very refreshing ideas here even the sound of the album overall doesn't apart much from TFK fame, even in places are some very faine spacey Gilmoureish guitar chops of the highest calibre.The music is varied, catchy and has all the ingredients to be fairly solid among prog fans, we have jazzy fusion passages, funky parts, spacey escapdaes all garnised with Stolt brightly ideas. Besides guita he is aswell a very acomplished keybord player, there are some really memorable parts on this album. All in all this album is good towards great, I really like it, is entertaining and has no low point.. 3.5 stars for sure, a well worthy release from this already legendary musician.

 The Flower King by STOLT, ROINE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.10 | 292 ratings

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The Flower King
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Roine Stolt's The Flower King was, of course, the project that brought together the Flower Kings, and it's kind of the blueprint for every subsequent Flower Kings project - particularly when it comes to sappy, preachy lyrics, retro-prog repetitiousness, compositions outstaying their welcome, and a limited range of tricks and gimmicks milked to exhaustion.

In other words, if you find that the Flower Kings are not usually to your tastes, there's nothing here to prompt you to change your mind - and if you are a Flower Kings fan, you're likely to find this album a bit bland, since the various compositional additions and twists thrown in by the other members of the group don't really come to the fore this time due to its origins as a solo album.

 Hydrophonia by STOLT, ROINE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.94 | 144 ratings

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Hydrophonia
Roine Stolt Symphonic Prog

Review by Mr. Mustard

4 stars Roine Stolt's second solo album sees a slight decrease in the amount of guitar and a marked increase in saxophone. Whether or not Roine was pushing for a more jazzy sound, he definitely achieved it here. Like 'The Flower King', the melodies and arrangements are superb.

I would say while there is nothing here that is over-the-top amazing, there are definitely no weak tracks either. My personal ratings of the tracks are as follows: Cosmic Lodge (10/10), Shipbuilding (8/10), Little Cottage By the Sea (6/10), Wreck of the HMS Nemesis (9/10), Bizarre Seahorse Sex Attack (8/10), Nuclear Nemo (9/10), Hydrophonia (9/10), Lobsterland Groove (7/10), Seafood Kitchen Thing (9/10)

Overall, don't let the silly names confuse you! This is an amazing album and marks Roine at the top of his game.

8/10

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